Movie Review: Captain Phillips

There are two things about Hollywood most of the viewers would agree on. The chances that the movie is going to be great, increase exponentially, if either of the following is true : a) the movie is based on a real-life event OR b) the movie has Tom Hanks. Now, what would you expect from a movie which has both? It has Tom Hanks and it is based on a very recent real-life event.
Well, the movie met my expectations and even went beyond. They have kept the movie as real as possible – all the characters and their behaviour is as humane as possible. They do not spray bullets as if ammo grows on trees, neither do they jump from two three storeys without as much as a wince, the way the actors do in other movies. In this movie, a piece of glass is a weapon and negotiation is the strategy. They have painstakingly portrayed the games a human mind plays in situations of panic and threat to life. The pirates have been portrayed as real human beings who are as confused as any human would be when things do not go as planned.
Alright, I think I am going overboard with the word ‘human’ now!

Tom Hanks is obviously one of the best actors in hollywood currently – and he proves this yet again in ‘Captain Phillips’. He slips into the role effortlessly and leaves no doubt that there is no other actor who could have played this role any better. At the same time, we have to talk about the pirates – and surprise surprise – the pirate leader actor is actually of Somali origin – Now you know why I am saying they have kept the movie as real as possible? The actor – Barkhad Abdi (off course, I had to google for this) amazes you. He brings Somalia to life summed up in one man – who is both a savage as well as a kitten. He portrays the desperation that would drive a poor man bang on. There are moments when you almost want him to win and feel like looting is justified. A particular memorable dialogue that moved me was when Tom Hanks asked him “Isn’t there more to life than fishing and piracy for you?” and he says “No. Maybe in America.”
Read more about the actor Barkhad Abdi here .

There are some downsides to the movie off course – let us also try and keep this review as real as possible (winks). The movie does feel lengthy at some scenes and I keep on getting this nagging thought in most of the movies – we need better editors. Good editors are a dying breed it seems. Also, in the climax, the ‘Captain Phillips’ does something that is so stupid, the viewer realises this was done just to add more filler material to the movie and which was definitely not required, considering that the movie has a runtime of 2 hours 15 minutes. This scene almost destroyed the movie for me, but thank goodness for Tom Hanks, who again makes it up when he is rescued and plays the human who has just been rescued and realises he has escaped certain death to the tee. The barrage of emotions that suddenly erupt have been portrayed spot on – and it almost brought tears to my eyes. A certain Oscar nomination for Tom Hanks for this movie. The movie loses marks solely on the editing front.

Our rating – 8 out of 10.



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